Customizing the curriculum for severe or complex needs

In order to assess learning in the classroom, pupils who are unable to write may well be able to mark with a pen or pencil. Multiple choice answers could be used. Record sheets can be devised to tick when activities have been completed etc.

Many of these children will require therapy of one sort or another and this will be done by a therapist in organized sessions in or out of school. It is important to remember though that therapy should be done at all times, for example, speech therapy activities are great fun for all of the class and help their language too. Physiotherapy is about making sure is child is able to get around the school, and is sitting comfortably in class. If specialist equipment is needed, teachers should be fully aware of how to use it and why it is important.

Pupils with severe motor disabilities may have had little opportunity to internalize concepts such as direction, shape, height and space. They are often passive learners and so opportunities need to be sought to help them learn in a multi-sensory way. It is important to try to use real objects in games and activities. E.g. put objects beginning with ‘b’ in the blue box. Put objects that float into the tub. When using objects think about the size and weight in relation to the abilities of the child. Older children can place objects on pictures rather than boxes and tubs. Think about where you place the boxes/tubs/pictures in relation to the child’s physical difficulty..

When giving instructions think of alternative ways of doing this, such as using picture cards or signs. If you need to adapt workcards.